CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

‘Brexit’ election masks a coming crisis for schools

05 May, 2017

Parents, teachers and pupils marching in protest at school funding cuts

THE Conservative Party machine would have you believe the forthcoming general election is all about Brexit and a straight choice between the contrasting styles of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May.

But is this not another political masquerade, concealing behind a thin veil a further assault on our already decimated public services?

In the shadow of the slogans about EU and financial stability lurks a monster debate about the future of state-funded education.

Years of austerity budgets have already taken their toll on schools, not just in Camden but across the country.

Headteachers in the borough have, reluctantly, increased class sizes with school trips and extra-curricular activities axed.

Theresa May

One by one in Camden, they are coming out into the open with warnings about the stark choices they could soon be facing.

The drastic measures some primary schools are taking to maintain their buildings and IT facilities are simply the thin end of the wedge.

Jobs and facilities are on the line in what Hampstead School’s headteacher describes as a coming “crisis”. We agree with him when he says that political candidates should be pressed about this issue on the doorstep.

Now, the government has threatened a huge shake-up of education system, with its Fair Funding Formula. The Department for Education claims that school funding is increasing and that the new system will more fairly spread funding to non-metropolitan areas.

The council has, to its credit, channelled more money into schools over the years than other local authorities.

But the taller they stand, the harder they fall.

There is no doubt that schools outside London deserve more funding.

But this should not be at the expense of the capital’s education system.

Jerome Rogers

WHEN a young man dies in such a needless way, the question often is: Who is to blame?

The tragedy of Jerome Rogers, aged 20, who hanged himself over an unpaid traffic ticket, is that he was let down by an uncaring set of institutions.

While we may not expect the bailiffs to revise their methods of collection, a certain degree of responsibility lies with the parent body – in this case Camden Council.

We believe the council’s cabinet should revisit the system to see if it is possible to avoid a repetition of such a terrible tragedy.

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